Like a lot of people, seeing the month of December flip over on the calendar every year brings on both excitement and dread for the remaining days of the year. Presents, parties, merry-making, decorating trees: pros. Spending hundreds of dollars I don’t have, the inevitable cookie- and cheese platter-induced weight gain, and a to-do list that doesn’t end until January: cons. But the biggest challenge of the holidays for me, as a person with divorced parents, always has been choosing where to spend them. And now that I’m married to a guy with divorced parents, too, it’s getting even trickier. We have four sets of parents, but, of course, there’s only one Christmas Day. Keep reading »
In this week’s Boston Herald, op-ed columnist Jennifer C. Braceras suggests that while adults might think marriage is becoming unnecessary, kids definitely need the institution. She supports this idea with statistics from a recently published Pew Research Center study, conducted in coordination with Time magazine. Braceras highlights the study’s (unsurprising) finding that single-parent households are at an economic disadvantage compared to two-parent households — for example, with the statistic that in 2008 the household income of married adults was 41 percent higher than single adults — and Kay Hymowitz’s book Marriage and Caste in America, which analyzes how children of single moms are “less likely to succeed academically and more likely to suffer from substance abuse, commit crimes and have children at a young age.”
OK, so there are several facts to support the theory that living in a two-parent household has a more positive effect on kids’ success than living in a single-parent household. Got it. But does a marriage certificate matter? Thoughts? [Boston Herald via Time] Keep reading »
There’s no question that the birth control pill has given us modern women an undeniable amount of freedom that our grandmothers didn’t have — both sexual and cultural — since its introduction to the free market 50 years ago. But what it’s costing our generation is an increased likelihood of infertility, or so says New York magazine’s cover story this week, “Waking Up From The Pill.” While it’s not news to link the birth control pill to women waiting later in life to have children, and thus infertility, because of their diminished egg supplies as they age, writer Vanessa Grigoriadis does have a new perspective on why this is so. She claims it’s because taking the Pill makes women either forget altogether about their biology until it’s too late or to think of it as something controllable by modern medicine.
“For women who have spent so much of their lives pressing the off button on their bodies while on the Pill, it’s upsetting to learn that there’s no magic pill that causes instant impregnation,” she writes. Keep reading »
Artist Marjorie Strider’s comically pornographic “Woman with Radish,” made in 1963, was an unusual contribution to Pop Art — it was a feminist one. She subverted the often ridiculously over-sexual, pinup-inspired graphics in commercial graphic art of this era by addressing such objectification in her own art. The eyelashes and radish (above) are sculpted out of wood and jump out of the painting, to further “tempt” viewers with their tactile lusciousness. Her point was kind of revolutionary at the time: How silly is it to sexualize women to this degree or to sexualize a radish, in order to sell an idea or a product? Keep reading »
While growing up — with one sister, a mother, and a father — I’d sometimes fantasize about being part of a massive family. This was, no doubt, because my favorite TV reruns – like “The Brady Bunch” and “8 Is Enough” – made it look like all fun and giggles to have scads of siblings to play with. Turns out I was wrong. According to a new report from Understanding Society, a study tracking 100,000 people in 40,000 households in Britain, children without any siblings are happier, and the more siblings children have, the unhappier they become. The individuals surveyed cited the following reasons why: bullying by siblings, lack of privacy/space, and competition for parental attention. This news certainly shatters the stereotype that an only child is an awkward, unhappy loner. Huh. This could be fodder for those advocating for population control, like Vincent Kartheiser. Or to convince Michelle Duggar to tie those tubes already. [The Guardian] Keep reading »
Reverend Cedric Miller, of Neptune, New Jersey, made headlines this week for demanding that his married church leaders stay off Facebook because he thinks it leads to infidelity. The reverend says he has counseled 20 couples in his congregation, at the Living Word Christian Fellowship Church, who are having marital problems because of the social networking site and thinks married folks should just delete their accounts. He explained his theory on the phenomenon to the Associated Press as such: “What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great.” Keep reading »
Even if the ingredients for your feast next Thursday aren’t from Whole Foods, I think it’s safe to say the meal will definitely cost a lot more than $1 per person. Well, self-proclaimed professional “frugalista” Jeffrey Strain is planning to spend only that on his T-giving spread. He has embarked on a mega cheapskate challenge: to purchase a complete Thanksgiving dinner for a family of 6 for $6. Where was this guy when I was planning my wedding? But seriously, how is this even possible? Keep reading »
In my middle school years, I learned about the menstrual cycle the same way I think most of my girlfriends did — through biology class, Judy Blume books and gossip. My mom told me zilch. My older sister prepared me for nada. Of course, parents these days, a generation later, are much more proactive in talking to their kids about sexuality, and at an early age, well before puberty hits — which I’m pretty sure is a good thing. On Psychology Today’s “Owning Pink” blog this week, Dr. Lissa Rankin has 12 tips for how to prepare a daughter for maturing, including “Take her on a tour of her body” and “Give her permission to tell you anything.” Wow, if I had gotten one such tip from my mom in the mid ’80s, I probably would have felt less shy about my changing body.
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This week, the Huffington Post launched a groundbreaking new category of content for a news blog or lifestyle magazine: a section devoted to divorce. Chock-full of advice, how-tos (for navigating the holidays, finding a lawyer, breaking it to the kids, etc.), celeb divorce news, and insightful personal essays, there is no dearth of content on the section’s home page. Editor-at-large Nora Ephron and Arianna Huffington cooked up the idea last summer while hanging out in the Hamptons and have been working to bring it to life ever since … Keep reading »
The fight to legalize same-sex marriage in the U.K. is starting to get interesting. On Tuesday, a heterosexual couple, 26-year-old North Londoners Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle, applied for a civil partnership at their local town hall and were swiftly rejected by officials because such unions are for “same-sex couples only.” With the support of gay activists and the gay rights group Outrage, the couple plans to start a high-court challenge to prove that it is discriminatory, or “heterophobic,” to not allow a straight couple to have a civil partnership and therefore equally discriminatory to forbid gay couples to marry. Some activists think this case just might do the trick to legalize gay marriage in the U.K. because discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is illegal under Britain’s human rights law. Keep reading »